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Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Tour returnees boost Palos Verdes golf title chase

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DAVAO—The ICTSI Palos Verdes Championship unfolds today (Tuesday, March 19) at the Rancho Palos Verdes Golf and Country Club here, featuring a formidable roster led by Apo Golf Classic winner Jhonnel Ababa and bolstered by the return of seasoned Angelo Que, along with Lloyd Go, Sean Ramos and Gab Manotoc.

The multi-titled Que aims to break his long title spell on the Philippine Golf Tour after a series of overseas campaigns, including in the International Series Macau last week. Meanwhile, Go, Ramos and Manotoc are back from stints in an Asian Development Tour event in Vietnam, adding depth to the already star-studded field.

The 72-hole championship boasts a prize purse of P2 million and showcases the country’s top players, including several foreign contenders who earned their spots through the recent PGT Q-School.

With Rancho Palos Verdes offering a different challenge compared to the tight Apo layout, expect the competitors to adopt varied strategies to tackle the course and contend for the title.

Ababa, fresh from his dramatic playoff victory over Guido van der Valk, seeks to carry his momentum into this event. However, he faces tough competition from van der Valk, Tony Lascuña and Jay Bayron, who are all determined to bounce back from near-misses at Apo.

Young talents like Ryan Monsalve and Kristoffer Arevalo are also tipped to figure prominently in the title chase with the former showing promise with a strong fifth-place effort anchored on a closing 70, and the latter seeking redemption after a disappointing final round of 81.

“I need to set my pace right, set my motivations right. It it all connects, maybe I’ll get a win,” said Arevalo, who led in the third round but faltered and tumbled to joint 13th.

But the 24-year-old is making sure to enter the Palos Verdes Championship battle-ready, saying: “I’m just fixing up all the plans that I need. Strategically, I don’t know yet. After my (second) practice round (Monday), I’ll have an idea of what’s going to happen.”

Aidric Chan is also out make things happen, raring to atone for his 37th-place effort at Apo following a top performance in the Q-School.

Foreign challengers such as Gwon Minwook, Collin Wheeler, Toru Nakajima, Min Hyeo Yu, Ozeki Kakeru, and last year’s Q-School topnotcher Hyun Ho Rho, are poised to challenge the local favorites, adding an extra layer of excitement to the tournament organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc. and supported by Kampfortis Golf.

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